The revamped Detroit Pistons‘ journey back to the playoffs gets under way in less than a month. With all the dreaded time finally dwindling away, it’s time to make some bold predictions about the Pistons upcoming season:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will assert himself as shooting guard of the future
It won’t matter whether or not Caldwell-Pope cracks the starting lineup on opening night because he will assert himself throughout the Pistons’ season as the shooting guard of the future.
KCP will get plenty of opportunities to shine for the Pistons and his combination of size, athleticism and shooting ability will prove to be too much for Maurice Cheeks to keep on the bench.
Expect Caldwell-Pope to hover around double-digit scoring figures for the Pistons in his rookie season and to have a surprisingly solid year defending on the perimeter.
Andre Drummond averages a double-double in second season
This isn’t bold, is it?
Probably not given all the hoopla Drummond has received this offseason on and off the floor, but it would be a massive step forward for a 20-year-old, second-year center.
Drummond averaged 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in only 20 minutes per game last season. If Drummond is capable of giving the Pistons around 28 minutes per game this season, expect his numbers to inflate to around 12 points and 11 rebounds per game, as well.
If Drummond can rebound at a 11 rebound per contest clip, he could contend as one of the league’s top glass cleaners.
While we’re on the topic of Drummond, let’s make another bold prediction:
He will shoot better than 37 percent from the free throw line this season!
37 percent from the charity stripe is just foul. Drummond must fix this aspect of his game if he expects to garner a monstrous role with the Pistons. But, if Coach ‘Sheed is working with Drummond on a 15-foot jumper, I bet he will also have his free throw shooting ready to roll.
Rodney Stuckey is traded at the deadline
Stuckey still has a bit of trade value and if his role drastically diminishes further with the arrival of Caldwell-Pope, expect Stuckey to be shipped elsewhere.
Whether he’s dealt straight up for a future pick, a role player, or he’s packaged in a blockbuster deal, it seems very likely that Stuckey will want to be part of a new franchise if he sees limited minutes.
With all of that said, I will never let go of my Rajon Rondo-to-the-Pistons speculation. His role with the Pistons just makes way too much sense and if Joe Dumars isn’t satisfied with the way the team is playing after making all these drastic moves, he will do something about it.
Pistons win 44 games and make playoffs as a No. 6 seed
The retooled roster and coaching staff will have a major impact and yes, Dee-troit Basketball will have the engines revving and rolling all season and eventually into the playoffs.
44 wins after a 29-win season in 2012-13?
I understand that can be hard to fathom, but the team is young and athletic and will cause all sorts of havoc on the defensive end. The Pistons will also be a force on the boards with the Drummond-Monroe-Smith frontline.
The weakness of the Pistons will continue to be in the backcourt. Although, it is vastly improved from a year ago, it could be the team’s hindrance because of it’s youth and decision making. Jennings must see his game mature in Detroit and take advantage of the weapons surrounding him.